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John Clarke

John Clarke Oil on canvas
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This portrait of John Clarke (1755-1798), a graduate of Harvard College and a minister, was painted by Henry Sargent (1770-1845).

John Clarke was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1755. He graduated from Harvard in 1774 and married Esther Orne of Salem in 1780. Clarke became an associate of Charles Chauncey at the First Church in Boston in 1778. At Chauncey's death he became minister and served in that position until his death. A founder of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a trustee of the Humane Society, he was one of the original planners for the Boston Library. John Clarke was elected a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1794 and died in Boston in 1798.